Why would an heir remove items from the deceased’s home?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2023 | Probate Litigation

One problem that sometimes comes up with probate and estate distribution is that some of the items mentioned in the will are missing. This could be because they have been removed from the home before the assets were distributed, but after the parents passed away.

For example, maybe your parents passed away while you were living in a different state. You can’t find some of the assets that were left to you, and you suspect that other beneficiaries, who still lived in the same town as your parents, may have removed them from the house. Besides the obvious motives, such as trying to cut you out of the will or take assets that they want, why would someone do this?

They are doing all the work

One reason that people sometimes give is that they feel like they are doing all of the work. Maybe they were caring for your parents as they grew older. Maybe that person is the estate administrator, so they have a lot of details to sort out. They assume– incorrectly, of course – that the fact that they had to put in this effort means they can take anything they want from the home.

Speaking of the estate executor, people will sometimes overestimate the power that this position gives them. They may think that they get to make decisions about who gets which assets. But they do not. Their job is simply to follow the estate plan and distribute the assets as was already noted in the will.

When things get complicated, it’s quite important to know what legal steps you can take so that you can make sure your actions are within the bounds of the law and protect your interests.


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